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Proceedings Paper

Recent advances in aluminum oxynitride (ALON) optical ceramic
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Paper Abstract

Aluminum Oxynitride or ALON optical ceramic is transparent material, developed and patented by Raytheon, which is very similar to sapphire, being comprised mostly of Al2O3 with a small amount of additional nitrogen. This nitrogen addition has the effect of producing a cubic material whose optical and mechanical properties are isotropic. Importantly, this means that it can be produced by powder processing methods, which are scalable to larger sizes, and at lower prices than can be achieved by the single crystal growth techniques that are used to grow sapphire. Furthermore, its isotropic properties make it much easier to grind and polish than sapphire. Recently, the interest in ALON optical ceramic has grown substantially following impressive results in ballistic testing. Ballistic laminates, containing ALON layers, have demonstrated protection against armor piercing rounds, at half the areal density and thickness of conventional ballistic laminates. ALON plates as large as 14x20in are being produced, under Air Force funding, for evaluation as IR windows and transparent armor, using conventional powder processing techniques. The production processes themselves are now being scaled to produce large pieces and large quantities of ALON optical ceramic.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 September 2001
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4375, Window and Dome Technologies and Materials VII, (7 September 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.439195
Show Author Affiliations
Lee M. Goldman, Raytheon Electronic Systems (United States)
Thomas M. Hartnett, Raytheon Electronic Systems (United States)
Joseph M. Wahl, Raytheon Electronic Systems (United States)
Robert J. Ondercin, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Karen R. Olson, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4375:
Window and Dome Technologies and Materials VII
Randal W. Tustison, Editor(s)

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